Romero, Point Given named to racing Hall of Fame
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Jockey Randy Romero, who won more than 4,000 races in a 26-year career, and former Horse of the Year Point Given have been elected to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame.
Romero, Point Given, Azeri and Best Pal were elected in the contemporary category by the 182 members of the voting panel, the Hall of Fame announced Friday. The Hall's Historic Review Committee will announce its selections on Wednesday, June 9, completing the 2010 inductees.
Romero was the regular rider of Go for Wand and the undefeated Personal Ensign. He won Breeders' Cup races on both. The 52-year-old won 4,294 races, including 122 graded stakes, during a career that went from 1973 to 1999. Winning riding titles at 10 tracks, Romero's mounts earned purses totaling more than $75 million. In one day at Keeneland, he was first to the wire in five straight races and captured six on the day.
Point Given dominated 2001, winning Horse of the Year and Champion 3-year-old. After finishing fifth in the '01 Kentucky Derby, he rallied to win the final two legs of the Triple Crown, the Preakness and Belmont. He went on to capture the Haskell and Travers, becoming the first horse to win four straight races with $1 million purses.
Point Given was retired following the Travers because of an injury and finished his career with nine wins in 13 starts and $3.9 million in earnings.
Azeri was Horse of the Year in 2002 and Champion Older Female in 2002-04. She won 17 of 24 races, including 11 Grade 1 stakes. As a 4-year-old, Azeri won eight of nine starts, including Grade 1 victories in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, Apple Blossom Handicap, Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap and Vanity Handicap.
Azeri retired as the leader in earnings among females -- since broken by Zenyatta -- with $4,079,820.
Best Pal won 18 of 47 career starts, earning more than $5.6 million during his six-year career. As a 2-year-old, Best Pal won five stakes, including Grade 1 victories in the Norfolk and Hollywood Futurity. In 1991, he was second in the Kentucky Derby, before returning west to win the Swaps Stakes and defeat older stars Twilight Agenda and Unbridled in the Pacific Classic. As a 4-year-old, Best Pal won the San Fernando, Charles H. Strub Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap and Oaklawn Handicap in succession.
The four candidates received the most votes from 182 voters in the United States and Canada. The ceremony is August 13 in Saratoga Springs.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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